Circular Economy & Plastics
In Scotland, we currently consume as if we had three planets available to produce the resources we use and absorb the waste we create.
Scotland’s material consumption accounts for 82% of our entire carbon footprint.
Moving to a circular economy – one in which materials are kept in circulation for as long as possible, will reduce our material demands and is key to meeting our climate commitments.
In order to move towards a circular economy, major changes to the way we make products and consume resources will need to be made, bringing economic opportunities and innovation.
Consuming the planet
Over-consumption by the wealthy few is pushing our whole planet to breaking point. Rich-nation economies like Scotland are built on the idea of unlimited growth, forcing consumption levels that are driving the climate crisis.
We need our leaders to make decisions on the basis that consumption must have limits, so that we can play a vital role in the road to social and environmental justice.
A better economy
Research has shown it is possible to live a high quality life on a sustainable level of material consumption of about eight tonnes per person per year. Scotland’s material footprint is currently more than double this figure.
Keeping materials circulating in our economy for as long as possible would reduce the burden on the countries where materials are sourced, often through dangerous practises, and reduce the waste that is disposed of with harmful processes like incineration.
What we are doing
- Putting pressure on the Scottish Government to include robust carbon footprint and material reduction targets in the Circular Economy Bill
- Building public awareness and understanding of the need for a circular economy
- Influencing decision makers to stop harmful waste disposal practices
- Engaging communities in the fight against new incinerators in their area.
Scotland has the materials, skills and demand to make this circular narrative a reality. We need a government willing to take bold steps towards a circular economy.Kim Pratt, Circular Economy Campaigner
- The Scottish Government has put a moratorium on new incinerators and is conducting a review into the future of these polluting installations
- A bottle deposit return scheme for Scotland will be implemented next year with the potential to significantly reduce our amount of waste
- From this summer the Scottish Government is banning a range of single-use plastic items, including plastic cutlery, plates, straws and expanded polystyrene food containers and cups.
Two polar bears – and their marathon run for the environment
Ruth and Ella took on the Brighton Marathon dressed as stranded polar bears surrounded by melting ice caps, all made from face masks!
Clarissa Morawski talks to us about deposit return schemes
An interview with deposit return scheme expert and CEO of Reloop, Clarissa Morawski, about the importance and challenges of the schemes.
Scotland’s invisible consumption impact
Scotland need’s to take responsibility for the impact of its consumption overseas as well as at home.
Latest Press Releases
Urgent action needed as we hit Earth Overshoot Day
Today marks Earth Overshoot Day – the day when humanity’s demand for ecological resources exceeds what the Earth can generate that year.
Environmental campaigners welcome ban on new incinerators in Scotland
Move hailed as ‘important step forward’ but Ministers urged to next tackle the impact of existing incinerators.
Scottish Government launches consultation on Circular Economy Bill
The Scottish Government has today (30 May) launched a consultation on a new law to create a circular economy in Scotland and reduce our impact on the climate by changing…
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